Is flexibility sustainable? The impact of intensive teaching practices on teacher educators
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Teacher education faculties throughout Australia have long been under pressure to maximize their and income by offering flexible modes of delivery designed to appeal to the widest possible domestic and international markets. This has given rise to a range of practices including teaching periods that span almost the entire year; short, intensive or compressed courses designed to fast track graduation and programs offered in 'flexible' delivery mode which allow students to choose the times and locations at which they engage with course materials and assessment tasks. High levels of student satisfaction with an individual intensive teaching experience are easily used to justify the continuation (and expansion) of these modes of delivery. This fails to acknowledge, however, the impact that the work associated with stabilizing an innovation has upon the academics involved. This paper investigates data drawn from student evaluations of two different teacher education subjects delivered in an intensive mode. It begins by identifying the reasons students put forward to explain the high ratings they gave to the courses. It then uses actor-network theory to foreground the experience of the academic involved in the teaching experiences and raise questions about the sustainability of the range and scope of activities which are increasingly represented as natural and normal within discourses about quality intensive teaching.
Australian Teacher Education Association National Conference Proceedings
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Education not elsewhere classified